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The Theoretical Foot

Ratings:
Length: 284 pages8 hours

Summary

An undiscovered novel by an iconic American food writer – the publication of this enchanting portrait of 1930s bohemian life will be a major literary event

'I sank into The Theoretical Foot like a fat strawberry into whipped cream ... Intimate and moral, funny and wise, there is something incantatory about her style ... She is not just a great food writer. She is a great writer, full stop' Rachel Cooke, Observer

Susan Harper and Joe Kelly, in love and hitchhiking through Europe, never want this perfect, passionate summer to end. It is the late 1930s, and society frowns on the slack morals of couples living in sin. But these tiresome strictures are swept away when they arrive at La Prairie, the elegant haven on Lake Geneva where Joe's enigmatic friend Sara and her lover Tim preside – where judgement is suspended and time ebbs deliciously away.

Surrounded by orchards heavy with plums and meadows splashed with poppies, lunches are long, youth is languorous and wine flows. As morning gives way to afternoon and sunset brings the evening's festivities, the unseen tensions and desires of the group are revealed, the fleeting yearnings and long-held resentments.

A long lost gem by one of the twentieth century's most iconic food writers, this previously unpublished novel illuminates moral attitudes in the 1930s and shows glimpses of a refugee-filled Europe blighted by the rise of Fascism and the menace of another war. Enchanting, light, yet suffused with the darkness of what is to come, The Theoretical Foot is a witty and bold portrait of a bohemian life under threat.

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